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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

292                             POLITICAL SCIENCE.
twenty districts than by the one hundred, while they are over-
come in the legislature on every important question by a
majority of one hundred and sixty. It may indeed be said
with some justice that a diffused opinion over large districts
of a state or nation is more likely to be right than an over-
whelming one in a few districts. It may be said also that
things will rectify themselves in the long run. But this is
not entirely true; for certain interests may pertain more to
one part of a state or country than to another ; we may
affirm then that elections in small districts do not always rep-
resent public opinion or public wisdom, and may give an
undue power to the minority.
What weight ought to be attached, then, to the views of
the late John C. Calhoun, whose consecration of his life to
the defence of slavery should not blind his countrymen to
his great ability ? His opinion was that interests ought to be
represented, as such ; that a majority will choose its execu-
tive, appoint its judges, through them interpret the constitu-
tion, have the legislature at its disposal, and thus in fact op-
press the minority. The remedy would be, he thinks, to
give to the great interests their representation and to assure
them of power enough to defend themselves and make them-
selves heard in public places.
That every interest which is of any national moment ought
to find some advocate in public councils I freely admit, but
it is impossible to represent interests, especially when not
concentrated but dispersed over a wide tract, by any method
conceived of when Mr. Calhoun wrote his " Essay on Gov-
ernment." On the plan of making a constitutional provision
for them, we should soon fall into hopeless embarrassments.
The cotton interest and the sugar interest, and, in general,
the slave interest could project itself by its concentration;
nay, it actually governed the politics of the country more
than all others, because it was locally united, and bred up
men whose leisure could be given to politics. But how
would it be of the shipping, or the iron or other manufactur-
ing interest, or the great agricultural one ? And if any of